Offenses Against the Person
Criminal Defense Attorney Assisting Seattle Residents and Others
Offenses against the person are crimes that involve violent acts or trigger a fear of bodily harm in someone threatened with violence. This broad range of offenses includes harassment, assault, stalking, reckless endangerment, domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment, violating a protection order, and kidnapping. If you are accused of committing this type of crime, you may benefit from consulting Seattle criminal defense lawyer Mark Blair. He can investigate the details of your circumstances and guide you through the legal process.
Fighting Charges for an Offense against the Person
Offenses against the person are usually charged as gross misdemeanors or felonies. They are taken seriously by prosecutors. Among the more common of these offenses, for example, is a violation of a no-contact order. For this type of charge to stand, a prosecutor will have the burden of proof to show beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a valid no-contact order, the defendant had notice of the order, and the defendant engaged in the prohibited contact.
Generally, when such an order is in place, a defendant may be found guilty even if the person protected by the order initiated the contact or had no problem with the contact. A violation of a no-contact order is a gross misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. It becomes a Class C felony, with harsher possible punishments, if there are two prior convictions for similar violations or the contact occurs in connection with reckless endangerment or assault.
Another frequently charged offense in this category is assault in the first degree. This is a class A felony. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the intent to cause great bodily harm and either assaulted someone with a deadly weapon or with force likely to produce death or bodily harm, or assaulted someone else and actually caused great bodily harm. The maximum sentence for assault in the first degree is life in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. There are four degrees of assault, with assault in the fourth degree being charged as a gross misdemeanor because it is the least serious.
Between the extremes of misdemeanors like a no-contact order violation and class A felonies like first-degree assault are a wide range of criminal charges. Some of these, such as stalking, are class C felonies, unless there are aggravating factors. Aggravating factors may include prior convictions and violating protection or no-contact orders in order to commit the crime.
In connection with the more serious offenses against a person, the prosecution likely will need to prove the defendant’s intent to sustain the charges. One defense that may be raised in these types of cases is that the defendant did not act with the required intent. Under RCW 9A.16.110, no person is to be put in legal jeopardy for protecting by any reasonable means himself, his family, or his personal or real property, or for coming to someone's aid who is in immediate danger of being the victim of a violent crime. In other words, you may be able to raise self-defense, defense of someone else, or defense of property. The right strategy depends on the circumstances of an individual case.
Enlist an Experienced Seattle Lawyer for a Criminal Defense Matter
Offenses against a person are treated seriously, and both the legal and social consequences can be enormous with repercussions lasting far into the future. It is important to retain a Seattle criminal defense attorney whom you can trust. Mark Blair can provide you with knowledgeable and tenacious legal representation against a wide range of charges. He also represents people in Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue, as well as other cities throughout Kings County. Call felony attorney Mark Blair at (206) 622-6562 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.